Assassin's Creed Revelations - Preview

End of an era

Being the third Assassin's Creed game in as many years and the fourth in the last five, Revelations has left some fans worrying about franchise overkill. But while the latest entry in the popular historical, science fiction action series contains many familiar elements, there are six development studios collaborating on the project, which promises to be huge in scope, highly polished and potentially brilliant.

It also set to tie up all the disparate threads of the three protagonists from the previous games, completing the war between the Assassins and Templars during the Renaissance era in a satisfyingly grand finale which provides fans with the answers theye been seeking and inevitably paves the way for a new Assassin's Creed story arc. It isn subtitled Revelations without reason.

Turkish delight

Revelations switches the action from Rome to Constantinople (now Istanbul), the ancient city where east meets west, as players once again step into the assassin boots of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Now 50 years of age, Ezio of the year 1511 is older, greyer and altogether more grizzled. Nevertheless, he rich in experience and craft, just as deadly as ever in his older year, and still more than capable of swinging around the streets like some kind of 16th Century Batman.

The main story focuses on your search for an ancient artefact hidden away in a fortress by Ezio ancestor Altair, the hero from the original Assassin's Creed. It said to be a weapon powerful enough to end the war between the Templars and Assassins for good, but to gain access to it you must first locate a series of seals hidden across Constantinople four districts. Each time you do so, you unlock memories sealed away by Altair, allowing you to relive them through gameplay in a new device which fills in the story in the years between the first game's Crusades and the Renaissance of the later instalments.

Keys to the city

Featuring landmarks like the medieval stone tower Galata, the Hagia Sofia mosque and the Topkapi palace, Constantinople is wonderfully realised. Free running parkour style around the game world is as slick as ever, while the introduction of a hook blade enables Ezio to leap higher than ever before, grapple onto nearby walls and attach himself to the multiple zip lines that criss-cross the city, offering quick escape routes and the chance to perform stylish airborne drops on unsuspecting guards.

You'll scale vast structures and gaze out across the world in awe, move stealthily through bustling streets and back alleys in a bid to avoid detection, acrobatically vault across rooftops while giving chase or fleeing foes, and when necessary engage multiple opponents with your steely blades.

Ready for battle

Revelations retains much of the open-world third person gameplay of its predecessors, then, but it has now evolved to allow for a more action-focused experience than was previously the case. We've seen Ezio destroy an entire harbour with some kind of Renaissance flamethrower before zip-lining onto the last boat out of town, players can now craft and buy different types of grenades, while the versatile hook blade also offers evade and trip moves in combat.

Assassin's Creed Revelations is set to launch slap bang in the middle of the biggest month of the year for new game releases, going up against fellow big hitters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Saints Row The Third. But with highly polished combat and platforming gameplay, a wonderful new open-word playground in which to make the most of them, and a story that promises to conclude this chapter of the franchise with a bang, you wouldn bet against Assassin's Creed being the last man standing.

Preview by: Tom 'Master Assassin' Ivan
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release date: 15/11/2011
Preview Published: 26/10/11

SKU: Previews-154441
Release Date: 26/10/2011